Grade Two Cotswold Chase Cheltenham Guide 2024

Joe Glayshier | @joeglayshier

Cheltenham - January 27 2024
Cheltenham 13:50
Charlie Deutsch

Royale Pagaille

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 166
Days: 63

Venetia Williams has one runner in the Grade Two Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham on Trials Day in the form of Royale Pagaille. The ten-year-old reocrded a first win for over a year on reappearance this term, beating the well-fancied 8/11 favourite Bravemansgame to the G1 Betfair Chase at Haydock, but that was his best run at this sort of level for a while and it is unsure if he can reproduce that sort of run here.

He fell in the Irish Grand National at the end of last term and finished sixth in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, which suggests his early chasing form in 2020 is way past him but he is still able to compete here.

However, there's some good runners in this and he will need to run a good race if he wants to be in with a chance. Charlie Deutsch is on board.

Cheltenham - January 27 2024
Cheltenham 13:50
Paul Townend


J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 159
Days: 30

A rarity these days sees Willie Mullins boasting just one runner in this Grade Two contest over 3m 1f at Cheltenham on Saturday in the form of Capodanno. The eight-year-old arrives at this contest on the back of finishing third in the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown last December, behind Gerri Colombe and stablemate Galopin Des Champs.

He was priced at 80/1 that day, so outran his odds with his previous two outings reading sixth at Thurles in November as well as being pulled up in the Aintree Grand National back in April last year.

He's now back into Grade Two company here in the hands of Paul Townend, needing to improve to figure towards the end of this one against some good stayers. In truth, none of these runners can be ruled out.

Cheltenham - January 27 2024
Cheltenham 13:50
Stephen Mulqueen

Ahoy Senor

J: Stephen Mulqueen
T: Lucinda Russell
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 166
Days: 56

Lucinda Russell sends one of her horses to the Cotswold Chase in the form of Ahoy Senor. The popular nine-year-old took this contest last term, when beating Sounds Russian by over a length - with the likes of the former Grand National winner Noble Yeats and Protektorat behind on that occasion.

Since then, it hasn't been plain sailing. A fall at the Cheltenham Festival was followed by a decent second in the Aintree Bowl, finishing behind Shishkin before being pulled up on his last two starts at Wetherby and Newbury, which isn't exactly ideal entering this contest.

He is a top, likeable chaser at his best but we haven't seen the best of him over the past year or so, so could a return to winning form come in a race that has yielded success in the past?

Cheltenham - January 27 2024
Cheltenham 13:50
Gavin Sheehan


J: Gavin Sheehan
T: Jamie Snowden
Age: 8
Weight: 11-8
OR: 159
Days: 56

Jamie Snowden sends one of his runners to the Grade Two Cotswold Chase on Saturday in the form of eight-year-old Datsalrightgino. The 159-rated chaser arrives here on the back of winning his first chase at this kind of distance in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury at the beginning of December, claiming victory by just under four lengths to Mahler Mission.

He disappointed at Aintree prior to that run but he bounced back from disappointment at the Cheltenham Festival (pulled up in the Magners Plate) by winning the G2 Champion Novices' Chase at Ayr in April and can give another good account of himself here if things fall into place.

It feels like there is more to come from him at this level and distance, so don't rule out a big run from Datsalrightgino and his jockey, Gavin Sheehan.

Cheltenham - January 27 2024
Cheltenham 13:50
Sam Twiston-Davies

The Real Whacker

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Patrick Neville
Age: 8
Weight: 11-7
OR: 162
Days: 32

Patrick Neville boasts one horse in the G2 Cotswold Chase over 3m 1f at Cheltenham on Saturday in the form of Brown Advisory winner The Real Whacker. The eight-year-old edged out favourite Gerri Colombe at the Cheltenham Festival last term to win that contest, but hasn't managed to kick on since.

He was pulled up in the Paddy Power Gold Cup here in November, won by Stage Star, before making little impression in the King George at Kempton on Boxing Day, perhaps finding the level a bit too strong.

He can go better here for connections and jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, but despite not ruling him out, others make more appeal.

Cheltenham - January 27 2024
Cheltenham 13:50
Harry Cobden

Stay Away Fay

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 150
Days: 50

Finally, Paul Nicholls has the current market favourite for this year's renewal of the Cotswold Chase in the form of Albert Bartlett winner at last year's festival, Stay Away Fay. The seven-year-old switched to fences following a fourth-place finish at Aintree laast April, winning over the bigger obstacles for the first time at Exeter in November.

He took a big stride forward when outstaying Giovinco to win the Grade Two Esher Novices' Chase at Sandown last month by just over a length when priced at 8/11fav before coming back to Cheltenham to bid for his first graded victory over fences out of novice company for the first time.

Harry Cobden is again on board here and he is the one to beat on form coming into this one - it should take a big run to beat him as we build up to this year's festival in a few months time.